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Who is Alan Pedersen?

Alan Pedersen

Alan Today

Alan is considered by many to be one of the leading authorities in the world on the subject of grief and loss. Alan is currently the Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends (TCF). TCF is the largest grief organization in the world serving families who are grieving the death of a child, grandchild or sibling. Alan has helped hundreds of organizations and corporations better assist their professionals and volunteers who work directly with those in grief.

A highly sought after speaker and workshop presenter; his message, inspired by his own journey after the death of his 18-year-old daughter Ashley in 2001, has given hope to thousands of grieving individuals.

As an award winning songwriter and recording artist, Alan often weaves original songs into presentations. His music is refreshing and a delight to audiences not normally accustomed to such artistry and creativity as part of the grieving or learning experience.

Alan has brought healing, touched the hearts and opened the minds of thousands of grievers and those who care for the grieving at the over 900 presentations he has given throughout the United States and Canada since 2003.

Alan's Music

Following the death of his daughter Ashley, Alan focused his professional singer/songwriter skills and began recording what is now a library of four highly acclaimed CD’s of original music. His ability to write and perform music about the delicate subject of grief and loss is like no other. Many of his songs are played around the world in memory of lost loved ones. People often wonder and ask “does Alan write ‘grief songs’”? To which he proudly answers,

“No, I write love songs!”

Alan's Outreach

In 2007, Alan and fellow Grief Guru Mitch Carmody created The ProActive Grieving concept. This innovative approach to processing and living with grief by embracing the love and the life of our loved ones who have died has been at the forefront of a paradigm shift in the grief world. The popularity of ProActive Grieving led to the 2012 filming of the very popular full-day workshop “A Day with Mitch and Alan”.

In 2010, he received the prestigious Professional of the Year award by the Compassionate Friends and in 2011 received the Humanitarian of the Year award by the Bobby Resciniti Healing Hearts Foundation.

In 2010 Alan married Denise Howard. Denise, a bereaved mom to Sean Patrick Sullivan, created and ran a foundation helping families who had experienced the death of a child. Denise is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Grief Services Provider. Together they co-founded Grief and Beyond, a multi-media company supporting organizations and corporations helping those in grief. In 2010, they launched the Angels Across the USA Tour which featured workshops and music presentations in over 400 U.S. cities.

In 2011, Alan partnered with The Grief Toolbox to create, write, produce, edit and co-host the highly acclaimed “Walking Through Grief” DVD series (featuring the late Darcie Sims).

Alan is certified as a Grief Services Provider through the American Grief Academy.

Today, Alan serves as the Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends/USA, the largest grief organization in the world supporting families who have had a child die of any age, from any cause. TCF is an organization of more than five thousand volunteers who serve 680 local chapters throughout the United States.

Alan is a publisher, writer and editor for We Need Not Walk Alone magazine, the official publication of The Compassionate Friends.

Alan and Denise reside in Roseville, California

Alan's Presentations and Associated Clients include:

  • Life After Loss Grief Symposium in Newtown, Connecticut
  • Columbia University
  • Akron Children’s Hospital
  • The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
  • The World Gathering on Bereavement
  • The Compassionate Friends National Conference
  • The Bereaved Parents of the USA National Gathering
  • The Wisconsin Walk for Hope
  • Delaware Hospice
  • Columbine High School Memorial
  • American Gold Star Mothers
  • Judy’s House
  • SOLACE (Surviving Our Loss And Continuing Everyday)
  • The Tony Brown Foundation
  • The Healing Hearts Foundation
  • Umbrella Ministries
  • Centering Corp
  • Joshua’s Place
  • NOPE (Narcotics Overdose Prevention & Education)
  • LLOST Foundation (Loss of Loved Ones to Sudden Tragedy)
  • The Sacramento Grief Coalition
  • Nebraska SIDS Association
  • Ryan’s Place
  • Arch Diocese of New York
  • The American Grief Academy

Alan’s work has been featured in more than 150 newspapers across the United States and he has appeared on many television and radio programs including:

  • Hope, Healing and Help Radio Show – KFIA 710 AM, Sacramento, California
  • Grief Relief/Open To Hope with Gloria and Heidi Horsley – Palo Alto, California
  • Good Mourning with Darcie Sims – Puyallup, Washington
  • Grief Chat Radio Show with Mitch Carmody – KDWA 1460 AM Hastings, Minnesota
  • The Morning Show – WGAA 1340 AM News
  • Cedartown, Georgia, Good Morning Toledo - WUPW Channel 36, Toledo
  • Ohio, CBS KCBY Channel 11 News - Coos Bay, Oregon
  • CBS Channel 4 News – Denver, Colorado
  • Fox WTHI News, Channel 10 – Terre Haute, Indiana
  • CBS KIMT News – Mason City, Iowa
  • CBS KHOU News – Houston, Texas
  • NBC KULR Channel 8 News – Billings, Montana
  • CBS KMTV Channel 3 News - Omaha, Nebraska
  • Fox WAGA Channel 5 News – Atlanta, Georgia
  • NBC WHEC Channel 10 News - Rochester, New York